FROM Tom Malinowski
Can Bush's Lawyers Be Tried for War Crimes? Abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib were revealed in photographs that are now infamous worldwide. Just seven people have been disciplined, all soldiers, none of whom rose above the rank of sergeant. Former sergeant Javal Davis, who spent four months as a guard at the prison, pleaded guilty to assault and served three months in a military brig. Yet, there's ample evidence of much worse treatment, possibly torture. The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and other lawyers who approved harsh tactics against detainees captured after 9/11. Were they doing what was necessary to prevent another attack or should they be put on trial? What were the roles of Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush?
Prisoner Interrogations in the War on Terror The US Supreme Court says that the Geneva Conventions apply to suspects in the war on terror. Common Article 3 prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." In a dispute with Republican Senators, including John McCain , President Bush says that's too "vague" to protect CIA interrogators from being sued for abusing prisoners in the war on terror, and says he'll call off the interrogations unless Congress writes "clarity" into the law . In the meantime, the Army's top uniformed lawyer, Major General Scott Black, has written to the dissenting Senators that redefining the Conventions "is unnecessary and could be seen as a weakening of our treaty obligations." What does the President mean by "alternative interrogation techniques?" How are they different from torture? Is the US being tough enough to protect American safety?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?